Once you have done all your business study and homework, put in the long hours, and have researched how to start a consulting business you will probably be ready to give it a try and launch.
The question is do you slip quietly onto the scene, or do you throw a major launch party, with all the bells and whistles, invite the media, clients and industry players, and let everyone know you have arrived?
A big part of that decision is going to depend on your industry. If you are practicing in a conservative industry, for example, as a tax consultant, a large, ostentatious launch may not be the best approach, and keeping a low profile might actually be better for your image. If, on the other hand, you are launching a media consultancy, it is almost expected that you put on a big show.
Another critical factor will be financial constraints. If you are going to throw a launch party, it will have to be big, bold, and undoubtedly expensive. Think about it – a few milling guests and limp sandwiches is not the image you want to project is it? Therefore, if you are going to have a launch, it is going to cost you quite a bit!
There is, of course always the danger that very few of your guests turn up, with also looks bad, so there is a lot of planning that goes into a launch too!
Another, cheaper and less risky method of letting the world know you’re open for business is to issue a press release to industry magazines, newspapers in your area, and of course, online media.
A well-written press release can generate interest, and, unlike advertising, or a launch party, it costs virtually nothing, aside from the time involved in drafting it.
Other options for publicizing your launch include developing a press kit, with information relating to your consulting business – company profile, services, articles and similar written materials, and sending them to specific media in your field and area.
Advertising your business is another idea, and it might be an idea to include a special offer in your advertisement, for example, a free needs assessment or an hour of your services. This may help to build your client base, and will certainly get you noticed.
Email marketing is another option, and is a relatively cheap choice. Compile a list of contacts email addresses, and prepare a short introductory email, with information as attachments, and send it to your potential clients.
Add Personal Touch
Alternatively, you could try the personal approach, and send each potential client a personalized letter, or making a short introductory visit or phone call, explaining your business, and services, and offering these to your prospects.
Publicizing your new consulting business is critical, however you do it, and there are clearly options to suit every budget. Spend some time thinking about how you plan to let your target market know you exist, and then do it!
Someone once said, “Not marketing consulting firms is like winking at a girl in the dark, you know you’re doing it, but no one else does.” That is still true today, so if you want to not just read about how to start a consulting business then get out there, and let people know what you can do for them.